Don Goulding - Blog

Gem of Joy

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Back in my business days, I met with industry leaders at exotic locations. We stayed in five-star hotels with every amenity. The halls were graced with pieces of art, each worth more than most people will make in a lifetime. More recently, I ministered in hovels, slept in mud huts, and ate whatever the poor could offer. God allowed me to experience the gamut so I might discover a vital truth.

Joy doesn’t come from circumstances—rather, it comes from a treasure I clutch to my heart in any place and any setting. This prize is a multifaceted spiritual gemstone I must never let out of my grasp. The name of my gem is “Faith in Christ,” and whether I’m coddled in extravagance or deprived by poverty, I curl around my jewel and shut out the world.

I turn the stone in my hands and ponder each facet. One side sparkles the truth that I’m forgiven. Other facets shine paradise and release from the curse into my eyes. Perfect, stunning, lovely warmth from the Holy Spirit glows from my treasure and into my soul. Absorbed by this great trophy, I care little if the roof above me is gilded in gold or peeling in decay.

I can’t live without the luminance I clutch to my core. It’s my future. I can live without present recognition, health, or abundance—but not without the future radiating from my gem.

Prayer: Lord, I wrap myself around the treasure of you.

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Atmosphere of Grace

“Arise! Shine! For your light arrives!

The splendor of the Lord shines on you!

For, look, darkness covers the earth

and deep darkness covers the nations,

but the Lord shines on you;

his splendor appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1, 2)

The surface temperature of our sun is 5778 K. White-hot gasses, light, and energy particles erupt from the massive sphere in every direction, including toward earth. Solar radiation destined for our planet should destroy all life down to the most resilient microorganisms. On the second day of creation, however, God made an atmosphere to absorb our sun’s incinerating heat. The air and magnetic field around us—invisible as they are—protect the world from the eradication of organic life.

Jehovah is the wholly righteous God. His blinding righteousness radiates toward everything in creation. Guilt can no more withstand his burning holiness than a twig would endure on the sun. Sin, imperfection, and lies are engulfed in flames when they touch God’s righteous light. He may tolerate my polluted heart while I float in this bubble of time, but it will soon pop. I must face him and see my unrighteousness turned to ash.

From the epicenter of Golgotha, a supernatural atmosphere poured from the Messiah. Ether with the power to absorb God’s righteous judgment streamed out to cover the earth. The heat of Divine contempt for our betrayal was taken into the shield that is Jesus. This blanket of grace reached forward and back in time to protect repentant sinners throughout history.

The foundation of existence is still righteousness, but now it’s buffered by Grace. God filters the intensity of his holiness through Jesus, so we don’t burst into flames. With Christ Jesus overshadowing me, I can finally begin to reconcile my life to God’s burning light.

Prayer: Great Jehovah, thank you for righteousness covered by grace.

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Off the Couch

I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

“Hey, Junior, get your old man another beer, and move your fat carcass out of the way of the Home Shopping Channel.”

Except for the grace of God, it might have been me saying those words. Thankfully, as a Christ infused human, I’m transformed from a spiritual couch potato into a cosmic adventurer.

Every day Jesus asks if I want to come out and join his fun. But, before I jump in, I have to pack for a spiritual adventure. First, I must strip down to only the material belongings necessary for a warrior. Whatever possessions I keep will call me indoors, out of the excitement. Second, I must release my claims to health and longevity on earth. Mollycoddling my body will make me cry like a baby at every discomfort and skinned knee. Third, I need to throw off the sour blanket of my agenda. Only the sweet joy of doing God’s business will satisfy.

 There are souls to rescue, casualties to heal, and strongholds to pray down. No demonic barrier will stand before my King. We will march out under his banner to pillage the enemy’s camp and hurl spiritual mountains into the sea.

When Jesus went to the Father, he left us in charge of liberating captives. Before he departed, our big brother put his truth in our hands, his Spirit in our hearts, and his name on our foreheads. We are fully armed to have conquering good times.

The question for my heart is this, “Are you up for eternal adventures, or do you want to watch sitcoms?”

Prayer: Jesus my warrior King, lead me out.

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